Do Mountain Bikes Need Shocks?

By Rachel Lee
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Mountain biking is an increasingly popular activity that people do for enjoyment as well as exercise. Many people enjoy jumping on their mountain bikes and riding along with the wind in their hair. It’s also a fun and exciting way to exercise as mountain biking is a good way to tone your body. It also provides cardiovascular benefits.

Today we will explore the question of whether or not mountain bikes need shocks. The answer is that it depends. Although most bikes do come with some sort of suspension system to absorb bumps as you ride, there are a few options to choose from.

Let’s take a deeper look into whether or not shocks are necessary for your mountain bike. We will be looking at three different types of mountain bike varieties: fully rigid (no suspension), hardtail (front fork suspension only), and full suspension (both front and rear suspension). 

Do Mountain Bikes Really Need Shocks?

Most mountain bikes do have suspension which helps you to stay in control when riding over rough terrain. However, not all mountain bikes need the same amount of type of suspension. The type of suspension you get depends on how much you are willing to spend as well as the terrain you’d like to ride on.

Read on to determine whether a fully rigid, hardtail, or full suspension mountain bike is right for you.

Fully Rigid Mountain Bikes

Rigid mountain bikes tend to be the most affordable out of the three. These bikes are also great for beginning riders. Since it doesn’t absorb bumps very well, riding a full rigid bike teaches you discipline and endurance. It also teaches you to ride aggressively. 

This type of bike is fine for light riding on smooth terrain. It can be difficult to find a fully rigid bike to purchase, as most mainstream brands do not make this type of bike anymore. So, it might make more sense to check out a hardtail suspension bike if you’re just starting out. 

Hardtail Suspension Mountain Bikes

Hardtail suspension bikes offer simplicity at an affordable price. With only a front-end suspension, these bikes are incredibly light and easy to navigate. They are also fairly easy to maintain, since there are less moving parts.

If you are on a tight budget, you might consider a hardtail suspension mountain bike which will be easier on your bank account. These bikes are typically less than $1500. They are less expensive than a full-suspension bike because of their simpler design, which makes them cost less to manufacture.

Hardtail suspension bikes are meant for smooth trails such as paved roads or sidewalks. These trails have moderate bumps and offer a smooth ride which hardtail suspsension bikes can easily handle. 

These bikes are also low-maintenance. Hardtail suspension bikes are simpler and easier to maintain. They have very few moving parts. They also weigh less than full-suspension bikes, which can be good if there are a lot of hills. They are great for accelerating and climbing, which often allow you to ride faster and longer. 

Full-Suspension Mountain Bikes

Full-suspension bikes are great for cross-country trails. These bikes can easily handle rock gardens or rough terrain. They provide a level of comfort that you just can’t get with hardtail suspension bikes, which makes them an attractive option. 

A full-suspension mountain bike is usually a more expensive option. A good full-suspension mountain bike starts out at around $1500 and goes up from there. These bikes are perfect for technical terrains. The front and rear suspension make for a smoother ride. It has better traction and handles better, which makes navigating this type of terrain more fun.

This type of bike offers a more comfortable ride, as the suspensions absorb most of the bumps that would otherwise be sent to your body. This will allow you to ride longer, as you will not become as easily fatigued. It is also easier on your arms and upper body, since you can have a looser grip on the handlebars. 

Because the suspension absorbs bumps, your speed will likely be faster than it would with a hardtail bike as well. You also get better tracktion with a full-suspension bike, which is why it is great for riding on trails.

Related Questions

How Often Should Mountain Bike Suspension Components be Serviced?

Like tires, air shocks will lose pressure over time. Every 3-5 rides, you should check for proper shock and fork air pressure. Rear shocks should be serviced every six months to a year, depending on how often you ride your bike.

How Do I Know What Size Bike to Get?

You can use your height as a guide to give you an idea of the size of bike that is right for you. The size will vary, depending on whether you’re shopping for a road bike or a mountain bike. 

A professional bike fit is also an option. Most bike shops can direct you to a fit specialist that will take you through the process to ensure that you get the proper size as well as the correct bike to fit your individual needs. 

Can I Try Before I Buy?

Although you can purchase a bike online, it makes more sense to go to a bike shop and try it out before you invest a lot of money on a bike. Many bike shops offer demo days that allow customers to test drive a bike before purchasing. 

See Also:
Can You Add Suspension To A Bike
8 Best Hubs For Mountain Bike
6 Best Mountain Bikes For Hunting